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Old 21-10-2015, 21:07   #1
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Mast Height on Cats (ICW)

Quick question for the East Coasters:
What's the deal with the mast height on cruising cats? Most that I've seen are 70+ feet, above the height that would make them ICW friendly.
Do most just sail offshore? Is there an ICW compatible mast, because I've not seen them on the 40+ foot Cats (Lagoons, FP's, Leopards) ?
Comments or insights, please?

Do the larger cats require that much sail area to perform?
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Old 21-10-2015, 21:44   #2
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Re: Mast Height on Cats (ICW)

The ICW is just an US east coast thing. The cats are built for worldwide sales and sailing. You can put a smaller stick on but that means less sail area and a slower boat.
So yes, they go outside like the rest of the world.
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Old 21-10-2015, 22:02   #3
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Re: Mast Height on Cats (ICW)

General rule of thumb for doing the ICW is 65' or less of mast height. Though cats can have another sticking point, & that'd be beam. As a super wide boat will limit your manuverability more in some spots, ditto on finding berthing from time to time.

I've no idea in terms of what kind or makes of boats your looking at. But lighter is better... in pretty much all aspects. And when it comes to performance, when you're comparing boats, figure their Bruce Numbers, for when they're loaded out with what you'd carry, & go from there. It's akin to what an SA/DR is for monohulls.
Much under 1.3 & you'll be a bit sluggish in light air, & above 1.5 you'll be reefing more often.
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Old 21-10-2015, 22:22   #4
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Re: Mast Height on Cats (ICW)

There's a good spreadsheet here:
http://www.largecatamaransforsale.co...e-numbers.xlsx

which gives dimensions of a lot of cats. I see many there under 65 ft.
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Old 22-10-2015, 09:15   #5
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Re: Mast Height on Cats (ICW)

We had a 50' cat with a tall mast as well and yes the answer is we sailed outside. I'm actually in the ICW right now (mm 165) on our monohull (with a 63' stick) and have to say prefer offshore which we.'love be doing at Moorehead City.

Took the cat to NZ and no regrets, enjoy it!
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Old 22-10-2015, 09:45   #6
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Re: Mast Height on Cats (ICW)

I believe the okeechobee waterway is 49 ft.
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Old 22-10-2015, 09:46   #7
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Re: Mast Height on Cats (ICW)

I have spent a lot of time on the ICW, or GIWW. We just got back from a trip that left Kemah, Texas and went as far as Pensacola, FL. We were on the ICW from Bolivar, Texas to the other side of New Orleans, LA. Then we hopped into Mississippi Sound and later GoM. Our mast height is 54 ft. Bridges were never a problem as long as you call the required-to-schedule ones in advance, and you might have to wait on traffic for a while to get others to open. Our beam is a bit under 20 ft and that was never a problem on the ICW, but limits marinas to either big-boat slips, or end ties. At anchor, the beam is a plus.

They put enough mast height on our boat to make it fast enough. We are not slow, unless motoring.
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Old 22-10-2015, 10:17   #8
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Re: Mast Height on Cats (ICW)

Just a couple important thing when picking out a cat . Seawind 1160 , 62 ft mast height . Electric winch and able to be sailed short handed with a push of a button !
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Old 22-10-2015, 10:59   #9
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Re: Mast Height on Cats (ICW)

I have a 62' mast on my Lipari and 22' beam i have never had any problems with the bridge clearance even thru south florida but anytime i can sail outside i will
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Old 22-10-2015, 11:19   #10
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Re: Mast Height on Cats (ICW)

On the East Coast of the USA, in the IntraCoastal Waterway (ICW), all bridges have a minimum 65', sometimes more, of clearance (mean tide) or the bridge opens for unlimited clearance. WITH THE EXCEPTION OF ONE BRIDGE IN NORTH MIAMI AND ONE IN NEW JERSEY, which I think are 56'. So, in Florida, you have to go outside Port Everglades (Ft. Lauderdale) and back in Miami to get around the N. Miami 56' bridge.

You can find larger cats with masts that were cut down for the ICW, which obviously has it's disadvantages, but worth it in my opinion. To live and boat on the east coast of the USA, without being able to use the ICW is not an alternative for me. The east coast of the USA is the only place in the world that you can duck in and out of bad Ocean weather and continue your journey in protected waters on the ICW. What an asset to preclude yourself from with a 65'+ mast??

This subject is why I bought a Lagoon 380, with a mast height of 58'. Perfect for the ICW, excepting N. Miami and New Jersey.

The Lagoon 380 is "A" rated as a "Blue Water" boat. However, I personally am a D-. For that reason, I Love the ICW and couldn't live without it. Restaurants, Bars, Marinas, Hotels, Shopping and some of the best anchorages you'll find anywhere in the world, all along the ICW. I've sailed from Titusville to N. Vero in the ICW doing 10 knots, in 1' river swells, during Northeasters. Move that trip out into the ocean, on the same day, and it would be like having someone repeatedly bunching you in the stomach all day. No thanks, who in their right mind wants that!!

Another issue with the ICW is draft. Our boat draws 3'-9", which works great for the ICW. Most of the Florida Keys is 5' depth, as are a lot of other spots. So mono-hulls with 5' or 6' draft don't like the ICW for obvious reasons.

My favorite ICW trip is from Brunswick, GA north. Wide open, virgin wilderness!!
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Old 22-10-2015, 12:51   #11
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Re: Mast Height on Cats (ICW)

Let's not forget the infamous Wilkerson Bridge in NC. While listed as 65' on charts, really 64'. Went under it this morning at low tide with a 64' mast. Went up the mast yesterday and removed windex and wind instruments and then put maximum backstay tension on. Our VHF antenna clanged each girder as we went under with height board reading 64 1/2'.
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Old 22-10-2015, 14:13   #12
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Re: Mast Height on Cats (ICW)

Quote:
Originally Posted by sowwaninii View Post
Let's not forget the infamous Wilkerson Bridge in NC. While listed as 65' on charts, really 64'. Went under it this morning at low tide with a 64' mast. Went up the mast yesterday and removed windex and wind instruments and then put maximum backstay tension on. Our VHF antenna clanged each girder as we went under with height board reading 64 1/2'.

Sounds scary. Glad you didn't break anything. 64' mast is cutting it close!
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Old 22-10-2015, 15:45   #13
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Re: Mast Height on Cats (ICW)

Quote:
Originally Posted by sowwaninii View Post
Let's not forget the infamous Wilkerson Bridge in NC. While listed as 65' on charts, really 64'. Went under it this morning at low tide with a 64' mast. Went up the mast yesterday and removed windex and wind instruments and then put maximum backstay tension on. Our VHF antenna clanged each girder as we went under with height board reading 64 1/2'.
My favorite part is , " You went under it this morning " as I sit at my desk jealousy sets in . have a great trip and keep us informed on your journey Dave
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Old 22-10-2015, 17:54   #14
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Re: Mast Height on Cats (ICW)

This Cruisers Forum is great. I look forward to it every day now when I'm done work and home chillin with a beer. My biggest sail this year was Sarnia to Toronto on a C&C 29 delivery. Non stop except for Port Colborne waiting to get into the Welland Canal. Last year we chartered a 38ft Fountaine Pajot Athena out of Grenada. I love sailing and hope to end up owning a charter cat in the Grenadines. That is all for now.
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Old 22-10-2015, 18:30   #15
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Re: Mast Height on Cats (ICW)

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Mark View Post
My favorite part is , " You went under it this morning " as I sit at my desk jealousy sets in . have a great trip and keep us informed on your journey Dave
Ditto on the jealousy!
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